UPCOMING EVENT: YETI College Fishing - 2019 - Sam Rayburn Reservoir


A Fresh Look at Texoma

Lake Texoma’s a big body of water and anglers competing in the final Costa FLW Series Southwestern Division presented by Frabill may need almost all of its 74,000 surface acres. That’s because weather fluctuations have the fish scattered throughout this Red River reservoir straddling the Texas/Oklahoma border.

With no rain in the forecast, pros will compete for a top award of up to $50,000 in cash and a new Ranger Z518C boat with a 200-hp Evinrude outboard. Co-anglers will cast for a Ranger Z175 boat with a 90-hp Evinrude outboard, and an additional $5,000 if Ranger Cup qualified.      


About the Fishery

Formed by the Denison Dam, the reservoir stretches west along the Red River and north up the Washita River. One of the nation’s largest reservoirs (12th largest U.S. Army Corps of Engineers lake), Texoma offers a diverse mix of points, bluffs, riprap, docks, shallow wood and shoreline vegetation. Generally, anglers will find the deeper, clearer water down by the dam, while the upper reaches tend to present more color.


Current Conditions

Texoma’s water level is currently at 616.32 feet, which is just below normal pool of 616.50. This level is not enough to eliminate much shallow cover, but that’s not the only game in town anyway.

Jim Tutt, who notched a 2011 win on Texoma, says he found shad schools from 30 feet of water to 3 inches. Large threadfin and gizzard shad are congregating throughout the lake, but the annual bass migrations have not yet matched the forage movement.

“In practice, I fished everywhere from main lake stuff to all the way in the back of places that historically, have been pretty good for me and there’s shad all the way to the back,” Tutt says. “There are white bass and stripers feeding in the very, very backs, but we didn’t catch any bass back there.”

Louisiana pro Kevin Lasyone says bass seem to have paused the early fall transitional movement they started during a recent cooling trend. The first hints of autumn were interrupted by this week’s sweltering temperatures, which will reach into the low to mid-90’s during tournament hours.

“From what I’ve seen, the fish are more on the main lake,” says Lasyone. “I just don’t think it’s cool enough yet. The water’s still in the mid-80’s, so most of the fish have not moved to the creeks.”


Tactics in Play

Reporting dingy conditions in several areas, James Caldemeyer says that windy conditions during practice might bear a week-long impact.

“The wind we’ve had the last couple of practice days might change where some guys are able to fish,” says the Lake Fork guide. “With 20-mile-per-hour winds out of the south, a lot of the creeks are getting blown out.”

Lasyone doesn’t mind the shallow murkiness, as it actually forms a shade barrier similar to cloud cover, beneath which, he fared well with reaction baits. Main lake rocky points are his target this week.

Texoma often offers a brief flurry of topwater activity, so those fortunate enough to find the right stretch of shoreline could get a nice jump start to their day. After that, Caldemeyer thinks a mix of shallow crankbaits, big worms, drop-shots and swim jigs will see plenty of action.

As Tutt notes, Texoma’s reputation for quality smallmouth could factor into the mix. We’re not looking for someone to win solely on smallmouth, but a couple of big brown bites a day could be a game changer. Tutt sees jigs, shaky heads, spinnerbaits and topwaters appealing to the smallies.

“The smallmouth here are kind of finicky,” Tutt says. “You could win on the smallmouth if you get on the right little deal – I don’t mean the right spot, but the right kind of pattern. You could catch some really nice smallmouth, but this time of year, I think you’ll have to mix it up.”


Critical Factors

  • The wind – With decent winds in the forecast every day, Texoma could be very rough. If it is, that will impede the ability of anglers to run around and it could trash some previously productive areas
  • Running and gunning – It’s unlikely (but not impossible) that anyone will find a huge group of fish offshore. That means that making lots of moves to pick off a few at a time could be the road to success.
  • Catching a kicker – Texoma has some true giants in it, and it wouldn't be a surprise to see an 8-pound largemouth hit the scale this week. Tapping into the potential a little every day could seperate you from the pack.


Dock Talk

Considering Texoma’s proven track record for kicking out quality bass, most agree that 20- to 25-pound bags are doable this time of year. But with the fall transition as of yet unsolidified, the average bag will probably be considerably less.

“I think this will be a typical Texoma tournament,” Tutt says. “I think there will be some big weights and I think there will be some not so big weights.

“I think you’re going to have to get two kickers every day; like 4- to 5-pounders, plus your limit.”

Tutt believes two daily bags in the 13 1/2- to 14-pound range will make the top-10 cut, with a winning weight somewhere around 50 pounds.


Tournament details

Format: All boaters and co-anglers will compete for two days. The top 10 boaters and co-anglers based on cumulative weight after two days of competition will advance to the third and final round, with the winner determined by the heaviest cumulative three-day weight.

Takeoff Time: 7:00 a.m. CT

Takeoff Location: Highport Marina, 120 Texoma Harbor Drive, Pottsboro, TX 75076

Weigh-In Time: 3:00 p.m. CT

Weigh-In Location: Highport Marina

Complete details

Tags: david-a-brown  headline-story  2017-09-21-lake-texoma 


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